Analysis: The Protests in Hong Kong

The current protests in Hong Kong have been big news for the past couple of months, becoming increasingly more violent. Common occurrences have included tear gas being used in the streets by police and flights to and from Hong Kong being delayed due to protestors occupying the airport. Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway also temporarily stopped its operations. 




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The protests began when Hong Kong’s government proposed an extradition bill that would allow authorities to hold and extradite criminals in territories that Hong Kong doesn’t have extradition agreements in. In other words, the government would be able to simply hand over criminals to the countries in which the crime was committed without any agreement or treaty. Some of these territories included Taiwan and mainland China, prompting concerns from the citizens of Hong Kong, who worried that the bill would cause Hong Kong residents to be controlled by the jurisdiction of mainland China, undermining their sovereignty as an independent region. Although the bill was repealed, the protests show no sign of slowing. 

Recently, the escalation in the protests led the leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, to invoke an emergency law that banned people from wearing face masks or any other covering that obscured their identities in public assemblies, further enraging the public. The goal of this law was to deter protestors from creating more public danger, but many protestors argue that wearing masks protects them from tear gas and keeps their identity safe. It is expected that this law will further enrage the public and lead to more protests.